Two youths were badly thrashed, made to hit an accompanying woman and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Seoni of Madhya Pradesh on the suspicion of carrying beef.
Videos of the incident, which occurred on May 22, have gone viral on the social media on Thursday night and elicited strong reactions.
While one of the youth and the woman are Muslims, another youth who was beaten up has been identified as Dilip Malviya, police said.
Superintendent of police (SP) of Seoni, Lalit Shakyawar, told THE WEEK that five persons, including the main accused Shubham Baghel, who also uploaded the video of the incident on his social media account, have been arrested.
Baghel is a self-styled head of the Shri Ram Sena based in Seoni and has been earlier involved beating up of Muslims in the name of cow protection. He was externed from Seoni district this February, sources said.
Shakyawar told THE WEEK that the incident occurred on May 22, and came to their notice the next day. “The video was uploaded on social media and considering its sensitive nature, it was immediately taken off. Also, five persons, including the main accused Shubham Baghel, have been arrested. Animal meat was found in the vehicle that the victims were using and it has been sent to laboratory for test. One of the victims is named Dilip Malviya. The situation is completely under control and further probe is on,” the officer said.
The youth and the woman had been accosted in the Duda area just on outskirts of Seoni town on suspicion of carrying beef. The two men were badly beaten up and one of them was also made to beat the woman with footwear and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while a number of onlookers watched.
The video went viral on social media on Friday night and elicited widespread condemnation. Photographs of the main accused Shubham Baghel with newly elected Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur on the day her nomination was announced also got circulated.
President of AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi, also quoted the video to attack the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This is how Muslims are treated by vigilantes created by Modi voters. Welcome to a New India which will (be) inclusive and as @PMOIndia said secularism ka niqaab’.